By Rebecca Bradshaw, IPV Guiding Teacher
Those of us who are on the front lines of activism related to climate and social justice (or even those who are just paying attention to the immense amount of suffering happening in our world) need to find a way that we can stay engaged and yet not get overwhelmed with the scope of suffering we encounter day after day. The Buddhist teachings of the Brahmaviharas, or Heavenly Homes, offers a way for the heart to navigate compassion in the face of ongoing moral injuries that we experience by being on the front lines. They offer a sane and balanced way to keep the heart open.
A number of years ago I worked for many years in community mental health in the inner-city. At first I was overwhelmed by the amount of suffering, trauma, and oppression that I engaged with. By consciously engaging with the Brahmaviharas, I learned to care, stay connected, and avoid getting overwhelmed. We can all find that even in situations with lots of suffering, we can develop flexibility in what the heart notices, keeping the heart joyous and spacious. During this three week class, we will practice together and support each other to care for this planet and all who live on her with openness and genuine connection.
Register now for Buddhist Heart Practices for Climate and Social Justice Activists beginning October 1.
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Blog posts are written by various IPV and guest teachers. Biographies can be found on the Teachers page.